It's time for private investors to back water projects, says Barnaby Joyce
It's time for private investors to back water projects, says Barnaby Joyce Blainey Woodham

Joyce: Private investors need to fund Australia's dams

FOR dams to be built across the country, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has suggested private investors need to start backing the water projects.  

Mr Joyce on Wednesday hosted water infrastructure experts, investors, state government officials and irrigators during a meeting to talk about dams in Canberra.

While he said specific projects, such as the long-awaited Nathan Dam, a Fitzroy River dam and others had sparked interest, the roundtable was only the start of the process.  

Mr Joyce earlier this year released a green paper on agriculture competitiveness.  

It identified 27 potential dams across the country.   The Wednesday meeting was called to assess barriers to the dams' construction.  

He said, given the Commonwealth's budget situation, it was essential that private investors came on board.  

He said many had expressed interest but he would not go into details.  

Mr Joyce also said central Queensland particularly showed promise as one region where new coal projects could help back the dam, which would provide water for coal washing.  

That, he said, would then help local irrigators capitalise on the new infrastructure, should it be built, by expanding agriculture.  

Mr Joyce said the green paper was still open for public comment until December 12 this year.